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Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014

Bank helps county

Friday, November 28, 2008

(Photo)
With the help of an area bank, property tax collection in Clay County ran smoother this year.

For the first time, residents had the option of paying their taxes at the Treasurer's Office or at one of the First Financial Bank locations within Clay County.

"The bank helped out a lot," Clay County Treasurer Debbie James told The Brazil Times. "It cut down on the congestion of mail we receive and the amount of people coming into the office and having to wait."

James added she hopes to have some of the other local banks participate in the tax collection next year.

With the size of this year's tax sale, James told The Brazil Times her office has not had the time to determine how many delinquencies have come from this collection, but believes it should decrease.

"Since we didn't have a tax sale last year, the number for this year's sale was large," she said. "We should be able to have a tax sale next year as well so the number of delinquencies should be down."

As far as this year's tax sale goes, the amount of properties involved has dropped dramatically.

"The initial amount of properties in the tax sale was 792, but now there's about 377 left," James said. "We have had quite a few reconcile their taxes before the sale."

The deadline for delinquent accounts to reconcile is at the end of business on Thursday, Dec. 4, in order to have a property removed from the Dec. 5 tax sale.

James said another reason this year's collection went so smoothly is because there were two collection dates.

"Last year, we were only able to have one collection date, which made things tough all around," she said. "It is always better and easier, not just for us but for taxpayers, to have two collections."

The first collection this year was Aug. 29, more than three months later than the normal collection date, which takes place in May.

Continual changes in the assessment process have contributed to late collection dates in recent years, but James is hoping things will run on schedule next year.

"I hope to collect on time next year, but it is too soon to see it on the schedule," she said. "It takes some of the burden off the taxpayers because they don't have to worry about having a lump sum for one collection or have two collections back-to-back."

For questions about the tax sale, contact the Clay County Treasurer's Office at 448-9009.



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